Sunday, October 30, 2011

You suck at 'hype'

I have rarely had the distinct pleasure of attending a concert and watching a fantastic band play non-stop for three hours. On the other hand, I don't go to shows that are three hours late very often, either. Such is the "magic" of what is currently known as Guns N' Roses (though it should probably be called the Axl Rose Project, as my boyfriend dubbed it).

As a whole, I would say that seeing them live was a blast. The music was great (sounded wonderful) and of course we know a lot of their famous tunes because they're always on the radio. I found Axl's performance severely lacking, even putting his enormous ego aside, yet I still managed to have a good time listening to the good musicians he had surrounded himself with.

For starters, each musician besides the drummer got to perform a song on their own in order to showcase their skills. This is something I've never seen before and, frankly, more bands should do it. The most I see them ever give the band members is a break during a song for some free-style. Since GnR consists of eight members (that I saw), there were seven numbers which were stylistic, interesting covers performed to the strengths of whoever was showcasing themselves. The bassist even sang his own solo! It was just good fun.

I was surprised to hear stuff like The Who and the Pink Panther theme come up at different points of the show. It was refreshing, and gave the group members a lot of personality. In a way, I feel like it was necessary for each member to express themselves considering the group had gone through so much change. How do you stand out as you are unless you figure out how to break the mold? It was brilliant.

As I mentioned before, Axl was disappointing. He changed outfits no less than seven times in the course of the show, and tossed aside his mic stand even more times (to the chagrin of a poor crew member who had to go, pick it up and place it at a designated spot each time). I don't think even female pop stars change that many times (unless it's Lady Gaga), yet the effect was intensely enhanced by the fact that we could barely hear Axl at all. I'm not sure what sort of sound issues they were having, but the band sounded great while Axl himself was simply drowned out.

At the end of the day I wasn't too torn up about the sound. There's only so much that excessive tee, hat and jacket changes or painfully excessive pyrotechnics can do for your show when the front man isn't as energetic as he should be. I think Axl is just getting old.

While I'm happy that I had the experience, I won't be repeating it. Our night was such that we could have probably argued our way to a ticket refund since our seats were barfed on when we arrived at the venue and had to relocate besides the horrific wait. We ended up sitting in the handicap area at the back of our section, which was great (no heads in front of us, or getting up every time someone needs to go by). The downside was, of course, we were even further away from the stage than where we started. By the time 3 a.m. rolled along though, we were so beat we just wanted to go home.

Again, I did find the show to be very entertaining. Is it worth waiting until midnight to enjoy, three hours past the ticket time and two hours past the end of the first act? That depends on how much you like the band or want to see them for the sake of posterity or nostalgia (though I would argue that for nostalgia's sake, you'd be mightily disappointed). I had two reasons for going: First, I was invited; and second, posterity. In my case, I feel immensely satisfied. The show really was great fun, after all! I just felt exhausted by the end of it (I'd been downtown for seven hours at this point).

The hype certainly was a failure, and by midnight the crowd had broken out "booing" several times. Sorry, Axl, but that's not cool. "You suck at hype!"

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Catching up

Last night felt like a catch-up night in terms of anime or other shows that I've been meaning to watch, but just haven't found the time (or have had the drive) to do it. In the case with Gundam 00, I had watched more than halfway through season one before life got in the way and interrupted my fun.

Now that I've got an iPad, I'm finding it'll be easy to finally catch up on all of that. It's so simple to just plug in Netflix or stream from Crunchyroll and other places that I'll be able to watch my backlog on the go!

Yesterday I caught up to episode 18 of Gundam 00. I just finished watching Trinity (a team of siblings who pilot Gundams together) perform one of the most terrible acts of violence I have ever seen in anime. I'm trying to keep this spoiler-free in terms of big stuff, but man that was unexpected. It left me speechless. I had to turn off my screen and go do something else (play a little Project Diva in this case).

If you're wondering why I'm getting into the series now, it's because I've never truly been a big fan of the mecha genre. My favorite mecha series is Diebuster, and I really wanted to get into a Gundam show that wasn't SEED (one I really enjoyed in high school) or like Wing (one I really hated back in elementary). The problem with a lot of these shows (and this applies to any anime, not just mecha) is child protagonists usually turn me off. I can't relate to a 12 year old in a really serious role, and I wanted to watch something that was well animated but also mature. You know, to whet my appetite.

I asked a mecha guru, and the first thing he suggested is that I watch Gundam 00. I'm so glad I did, because I'm loving the show so far. There is a lot to admire about the series, such as the strong characters and the beautiful artwork. It also helps that I like L'Arc en Ciel who perform the first Opening Theme (called Daybreak's Bell).

The drama is great, and like I mentioned earlier I love how strong the characters are. It's not easy to introduce a fairly large and complicated cast and not have any just fade into the background. You may be indifferent towards a few people, but you'll definitely love some and feel some intense hatred towards others. To me, that's a sure sign that you're watching the right stuff.

That being said, I'll absolutely be back with another post once I'm through with the first season to update on how I enjoyed it. Eventually, I'll also get into the second season and the 00 movies. I may end up skipping around since there is a lot of well-recommended stuff out there that I've missed out on due to lack of time.

I am also open to more suggestions if you have one or two shows (anime or TV) you absolutely recommend all the time! My backlog will come up on a separate post for anyone who is interested as well. Looking forward to catching up!

(images are screenshots I took while watching)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Too much exposure?

I've been thinking recently, especially after checking Klout (I know, I know; it isn't really a definitive thing, but it's a pretty good indicator) of what my Twitter feed is really about. I tweet about all kinds of things, though I'd like to believe I focus more on Photography related topics.

Klout didn't even mention 'photography' as an area of influence for me, but then says I have influence in 'publishing,' 'movies' and 'cafes.' My reaction: "What?"

 What am I supposed to gather from this? The only time I've ever tweeted about 'cafes' is to promote my post on Snapitude about Maid Cafe...and it actually is a pretty popular post. Is that what bumped it so much? And then there's film and publishing..I have no idea what that's all about.

But I thought a bit further...the whole reason why I even started this blog is so that I could keep Snapitude condensed to just the topics of travel and photography - and I know I'm being redundant here and have said all this before. I don't mind this blog being a more broad platform for me, and my Twitter is also another relatively broad platform. I don't want to go through the trouble of having a locked account with my buds and a public account that is all proper, spiffy, possibly boring; so I've been engaging as many different people who are of interest to me as possible (without building it up to where I'm following 600 people). That means I am in the loop with artists, toy makers/distributors, other folks in my blogging network who are in the video games, film or anime industries, photographers, Disney fanatics and yes, publishers/writers/others. Now my concern it too much?

I have a hard time believing that there is "too much" when it comes to Twitter. You have an account which is supposed to produce a stream of your content/thoughts/words, and whoever is interested in you could follow you. Wouldn't people want to have a more personable relationship with the folks they follow, and learn about the other's interests? This is where I think it's alright to be a freelance photographer and writer like I am but also tweet about Disney, toy reviews I've submitted to Tomopop or even cute puppy images to brighten up someone's morning.

I just wonder if I'm really reaching out to the right people. That and I always worry that in terms of "professionalism" whether or not having "geeky" things show up (or even labeled a pervert for being a toy blogger) on my feed would prevent me from getting a better gig. What if a potential client or employer looks at my feed and goes, "dang this girl is a bit weird, she's into Disney and Japanese plastic figures - better just stay away."? It's pretty much my biggest fear, and it's probably the reason why my influence is lower than it could be cause I tone down my broadcasting quite a bit.

It's definitely some food for thought, and I've been looking more into Google+ lately, where professionalism is most definitely a "balance" with a "capital B." The crowd I have encountered there seems much different, and the "circles" feature makes it so easy to sort who you broadcast to (as well as who you filter out). There, the trend seems to be that people prefer to know a bit more about the people they're following as well as keep up with their work, but don't like too much self-promotion. I learned this today with a small-scale poll conducted during a webcast, and I'll have to keep it at the front of my mind in the coming months.

I have some big plans. First, Snapitude is getting its own domain and I'm going to drop the"WordPress" from the address. I'm keeping the WP platform, but the address will be mine! With a new site comes a lot more pushing of my own work, like building my portfolios and publishing them online. Then I'll really be putting my social networking to the test...

That said, I'm happy with the relationships I've maintained through the power of Facebook, or Twitter, and will be forging via Google+ now that I'm diving into it. I just hope they don't leave me swimming upstream.

(Realistic Disney Princesses via Jirka)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Once Upon A Time: My impressions after seeing the season premiere

Once Upon A Time is one of those shows I was really looking forward to catching on TV ever since I saw the previews months in advance. I wasn't as intrigued about 'Pan Am,' which was advertised at the same time, but I really love fairy tales.

I'm not too sure what I was expecting when I saw this pilot, but the end result was definitely overwhelming. If you aren't great at catching subtle plot points or organizing events in your mind when the story keeps "flashing back and forth," you may have a difficult time understanding what the heck is going on. One minute you're watching Snow White and Prince Charming, the next you're seeing a woman called Emma Swan in the real world and in her own storyline.

Here's the basic run down:

The Evil Queen is still jealous of Snow White and her happy ending, and pulls a move right out of Enchanted which curses everyone in the fairy tale world into the real world. The catch is, none of them will know it; and the only person who could save them is Emma, the daughter of Snow White and the only "survivor." On her 28th (presumably) birthday, her biological son arrives at her door claiming she needs to save the people of the fairy tale world, who reside in a town called Storybrooke, Maine.

The first episode is fast paced, and after the one hour I felt like I'd sat through two. I appreciated how purposeful the writing is and how many other movies or stories were referenced in the course of that measly hour. While it is a lot of information, I didn't feel left in the dark at all, and things were made pretty obvious. By "things" I mean the identity of the characters in the "real world" versus who they represent in the world of fairy tales.

I mentioned I didn't feel left in the dark, but I watched this with my mother who was utterly confused by the end and kept it saved on her DVR saying she'd have to re-watch it to understand the characters and premise. It's unfortunate, but I also think it's cause she simply wasn't in the right state of mind to sit there and think of fairy tales or references.

All that being said, I'm going to keep watching it. Once Upon A Time definitely has a lot of great potential, so I'm going to give it a few more weeks at the very least. The costumes and effects in the fairy tale world are all very nice (there was even, *gasp*, blood!), and I'm intrigued enough about the story to keep going.

Monday, October 24, 2011

First Post! What to expect whether you like it or not

As I mentioned in the very uncreative header section, this is pretty much where I plan to put all my stuff. I have my main site, Snapitude, but I do believe there is such a thing as "too much" when it comes to blogging. I'd like to keep that page limited to just travel and photo related topics, but I know I could write about so much more! Thus, GeekeryDo was born.

What you could expect here are more frequent updates on my doings, game playing, book reading, just anything I would want to share. I've also recently decided I want to get back into painting and commissions, so my progress will also be marked here. It's nothing too special, but it's a place I hope to call "home."

More than anything, this blog is a work in progress. I think everyone needs space to just "let their hair down." I just hope that it's interesting for the rest of you!


Game I'm currently playing: Batman: Arkham Asylum (PS3)
Book I'm currently reading: 'Travels' by Michael Crichton
Series I'm currently watching (anime): Sekai Ichi Hatsukoi 2 (shortening: Sekakoi2), Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai (shortening: haganai), Fairy Tail, Beelzebub.
Series I'm currently watching (TV): Torchwood, Once Upon A Time.